Why the driverless car will change everything – forever

As new a Horizon documentary explores, computerised vehicles are the future – but where will this road lead us?

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I am cruising down the middle lane of the M4, doing a nice relaxed 50mph or so. Up behind me comes a white van. Flash, flash, go the headlamps, as he edges ever closer. Me, I just keep on tooling along. White van man flips, overtakes on the inside, and as he passes makes a gesture too rude to be shared with readers of RT.

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You’re thinking, “Serves you right, I’m with the van driver on this.” Ah, but here’s the point of this story. I was not in control! It wasn’t me, officer (or white van man) – it was the vehicle that had taken the decision to hog the middle lane.

I was driving the latest Tesla sports car and – as I showed the white van man before he sped off with a look of confusion and fear in his eyes – I didn’t even have my hands on the wheel. Yes: in traffic, on the M4, somewhere close to Slough.

That’s motoring. Or at least, that’s the future of motoring. The car is taking over. Like a gathering wave, it begins with my fancy Tesla (borrowed for the day) and nervous company representatives saying, “We recommend you keep your hands on the wheel,” but it ends with what the boffins call “Level Five” – full automation.

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p056jxyw/player